After trailing by 16 points at one point in the game, The UNLV men’s basketball team stormed back Friday night to defeat Fresno State 68-67, splitting the series after losing to the Bulldogs two nights earlier.
The Runnin Rebels were led by sophomore Caleb Grill’s game-high 18 points. He shot 50% from the field, including 4 out of 7 3-point attempts. Grill also recorded a game-high-tying three steals.
“I thought for maybe the first 16 minutes of the game, we came out lackadaisical,” Grill said. “The last 24 minutes, we brought it together and got a lot of stops down the stretch.”
Bryce Hamilton added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Moses Wood scored 10 points followed by David Jenkin Jr’s eight points and his game-high-tying five assists with no turnovers.
UNLV trailed 32-40 going into halftime, after cutting a 16 point deficit in half with about 3 minutes to play. The Runnin' Rebels closed the first half on a 7-0 run, then opened the second half on a 12-5 spurt to trail by just one with 16 minutes to go (45-44).
After Fresno State shot 57.1% on 3-pointers in the first half, UNLV limited the Bulldogs to just 28.6% in the second half, while they shot 56% from the field themselves.
“I felt like down the stretch, even though we still weren't perfect, it was as together as we've been as a team and I could tell in the huddle and as we communicated that the guys felt good about how they were playing together,” Head Coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “Hopefully, that's something we can continue to build on as we move forward.”
After the Rebels took a one point lead in the final moments of the game, Fresno State's Anthony Holland shot and missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, sealing the Runnin’ Rebels’ victory, to earn the series split.
UNLV will remain in Las Vegas next week for its final regular-season home game as it hosts No. 22/25 San Diego State on Wednesday, March 3 at 6 p.m. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network and may be heard on ESPN Radio 1100 in Las Vegas.